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Biological research is expanding our understanding of disease, the natural environment, the human body and other parts of our world. This work is pioneering discoveries that will change the way we see the world, treat disease and understand complicated relationships existing in our ecosystems. This research is creating new career opportunities in the field of biology. Western Carolina University’s Biology Department offers three graduate degrees that will prepare students for careers as research biologists, educators, doctoral studies or one of many other possibilities in this diverse and cutting-edge industry. 

What You'll Learn

WCU’s graduate-level biology programs gives students the chance to study courses like molecular biology, ecological genetics and microbial ecology while working toward completion of a thesis. The Biology Department has advanced research technology, an herbarium with more than 25,000 species and state-of-the-art lab equipment. It is also home to the Southern Appalachian Biodiversity and Ecology center, a collaborative organization focused on ecology and biotic diversity in the western region. WCU is also located near the Wolf Creek Biological Preserve, Highlands Biological Station, Blue Ridge Parkway and three National Forests proving a truly immersive research experiences for students.

Where You'll Go

WCU is proud to have its Biology graduate alumni working at a range of universities, research facilities, high schools and medical facilities across Western North Carolina and the world. The graduate program prepares students for jobs working in national forests as environmental managers; as educators at universities, museums and zoos; conducting field research in exotic locations and a number of other exciting possibilities. For example, the Bureau of Labor Statistics states the average salary for biochemists and biophysicists is $81,480 and the average salary for zoologists and wildlife biologists.

Next Steps

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